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Big East What To Watch: Week Nine

The What To Watch returns after a week off as last week’s schedule collapsed before it could even get published.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Creighton
It’s a big week for Creighton women’s basketball AND the men’s team visits Villanova, too.
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Your brain does not deceive you: There was no What To Watch last week.

No, it did not get eaten by Christmas festivities, not technically, I suppose. When it came time to start picking out highlights of the week, the Big East had already canceled/postponed a third of the games that were on tap. It sure looked/felt like more games could go as the week went on, so the idea of spending time explaining why the highlights of the remaining two-thirds of the slate were notable .... did not seem like a good use of anyone’s time. Not me to write it, nor you to read it.

But we’re back, and sure, there’s already one cancelation on the books for this week, but things appear? Maybe? To have stabilized for the time being. Hopefully that means that games will largely be going off as scheduled from here on out.

Let’s get into some highlights of the week!

Tuesday, January 4: #16 Providence Friars at Marquette Golden Eagles (8pm Central, FS1) - Marquette comes in with four straight losses and five in their last six. That’s not great, and a 0-4 start to Big East play would also be not great. That’s what they’re trying to avoid with this game, against a Friars team riding an eight game winning streak and looking to move to 4-0 in the league. And yet..... KenPom isn’t quite enthralled with the Friars yet, making this game a cointoss at best. MU has been close to a win in each of their first three Big East games, can they finally turn the tide here?

Wednesday, January 5: RV Creighton Bluejays at #19 Villanova Wildcats (7:30pm Central, FS1) - Since the middle of December, Creighton has played two games. One was a 20 point decimation of Villanova on December 17th, the other was their double overtime road win against Marquette on Saturday. Now they go to Philadelphia to face the Wildcats for the second time in three games. Can their run their Big East win streak to three straight against a team that they already showed that they can beat even if that team is ranked in the top 25?

Friday, January 7: Marquette Golden Eagles at Georgetown Hoyas (5:30pm Central, FS1) - I don’t know what’s going to happen in the MU/PC game on Tuesday as I type this on Monday morning. But win or lose there, the Golden Eagles can not afford to lose this one, even on the road. Win, and losing this one against what appears to be the clear worst team in the Big East is a massive step back. Lose, and MU will be looking to avoid a 0-5 start to Big East play. Meanwhile, believe it or not, this one is going to be Georgetown’s Big East opener.

Friday, January 7: Marquette Golden Eagles at Creighton Bluejays (6:30pm Central, FloHoops) - Megan Duffy’s team hasn’t played since before Christmas as a COVID shutdown stopped the Golden Eagles from visiting UConn on December 29th. In the meantime, Creighton visited Arkansas and picked up a big win and knocked off Xavier on Sunday to move to 4-0 in Big East play and take the top spot in the league standings ahead of 3-0 DePaul and 1-0 Connecticut. In terms of both the league standings and postseason profiles, this is a big one for both squads, maybe a little bit more for MU than CU just because it’s a road game.

Saturday, January 8: RV Connecticut Huskies at #24 Seton Hall Pirates (11am Central, Fox) - The Huskies have been off since they beat Marquette before Christmas, and they’ve been dealing with some COVID issues on their end of things. Seton Hall is on a two game losing streak to start the week after starting out 9-1.... but they’ve been dealing with their own COVID problems and haven’t had a full roster available for either of their two losses. Both teams will be looking for a chance to make a big statement with a win for various reasons.

Sunday, January 9: Creighton Bluejays at #11 Connecticut Huskies (Noon Central, SNY) - All that stuff I said about Jim Flanery’s team getting big wins and moving to the top spot in the Big East? Well, here’s their chance to prove something. Are they going to be favored against UConn? Probably not! This will be the Huskies’ second game of the weekend as well, and their first home game since beating Notre Dame back on December 5th. They’ve been going through their own COVID issues on top of their losses in two of the past three games since Paige Bueckers suffered her knee injury at the end of that Notre Dame game.

Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week! Please enjoy, and all times are Central, of course.

Big East MBB Schedule: Week Nine

Date Game Time (CT) Television
Date Game Time (CT) Television
Tuesday, January 4 #24 Seton Hall at Butler 7:00 PM CBS Sports Network
#16 Providence at Marquette 8:00 PM FS1
Wednesday, January 5 DePaul at St. John's 5:30 PM FS1
Creighton at #19 Villanova 7:30 PM FS1
Friday, January 7 Marquette at Georgetown 5:30 PM FS1
#22 Xavier at Butler 7:30 PM FS1
Saturday, January 8 RV Connecticut at #24 Seton Hall 11:00 AM Fox
St. John's at #16 Providence 11:00 AM FS1
#19 Villanova at DePaul 1:00 PM FS1